Platinum advanced by $20 to the $1,423 bid figure and palladium climbed $3 to $621 per ounce. Background price checks indicated the US dollar still above the 80 pivot point on the trade-weighted index and crude oil rising half a dollar to the $94.38 level. The euro was hanging on to the $1.30 tilting point, mainly due to talk of sporadic ECB support for certain debt offerings. Spanish bonds received a warmer than anticipated reception this morning, for a change. However, what has really changed in the background? Nada.
The common currency’s slide appears to be pausing for the moment but lingering anxiety continues to remain on the scene as investors see a long slog ahead for Europe and Moody’s remains…in the mood to continue to take the scalpel to the ratings of various EU member nations. Fitch’s Ratings, for its part, has already applied said scalpel to a cluster of the world’s largest banks; BNP Paribas, Soc Gen, Barclays, and BofA. Meanwhile, the war of words between the UK and France continued without pause this morning.
French Finance Minister Monsieur Baroin (in an almost Monty Python and the Holy Grail-like tone of “I toot in your general direction”) asserted that France’s economy is (nyah,nyah,nyah) in much better shape than that of England. Yes, but…”your country remains the one that S&P has threatened with the removal of a letter “A” from its ratings status”…you can just hear the Brits retorting. And so it goes…
The deep row between the two nations has escalated after the Marseille summit even as some French politicians have tried to defuse the situation and observed that, basically, everyone is approximately in the same ‘boat.’ Hopefully, not a large one with the letters “TI…” painted on its side. The IMF’s Christine Lagarde said that Europe’s problems cannot/will not be solved by Europe alone. She called for a multi-national effort (with the IMF doing its bit) to address the debt debacle in the Old World and she noted that the global economy’s prospects are “quite gloomy” if the situation goes unresolved. Ms. Lagarde drew uncomfortable parallels to the Great Depression of the 1930s to make her points.
US consumer inflation data came in with a showing of ‘flat’ this morning as November witnessed declines in energy costs. The core inflation rate rose by 0.2% on the month. The Dow gained 90 points, the dollar remained at 80.20 and Santa was seen gearing up somewhere in Finland…
“He’s making a list, checking it twice….”
Jon Nadler is a Senior Metals Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc. North America